Franz Welser-Möst, the music director [sic] of the Cleveland Orchestra for ten seasons already and who serves in that position at least until 2018, is a hard man to warm to. It's partly his stage demeanor, by which, after all, an audience makes its first judgment. With pursed lips and distant eyes, Welser-Möst didn't exactly look like he wanted to be in Segerstrom Concert Hall on Tuesday night. Never mind, he had work to do.
But as a conductor, he's a cool customer as well. Those pursed lips come through in the music making, elegant though it can be. In leading his vaunted orchestra through a fresh program of works by Mendelssohn, Saariaho and Shostakovich, he seemed to be holding himself at one remove and conserving his resources. But then that, too, is self expression [sic] of a kind.
It is frightening to read what passes for music criticism in English-speaking countries. The above bit of nonsense, from the website of The Orange County Register, would never pass muster in Paris or Berlin.
The foolishness quoted above was signed (and therefore presumably was written) by one Timothy Mangan.
At least The Orange County Register does not run Mangan’s articles in its print editions—or so is my understanding. And, in its defense, the newspaper made Mangan shut down his weblog some time ago, a charitable act on behalf of the newspaper's readers and advertisers as well as Mangan himself.
Nonetheless, one must ask: why would a publication keep someone like Mangan on its staff? And allow such idiocy to appear on its website?
Southern California deserves Gustavo Dudamel.
And Mangan missed out on his true calling: covering Liberace.